Many of us are unaware of the impact our digestive tract has on the rest of our health. Restless sleep, bad skin, poor immune function and IBS are just a few of the common problems associated with an unhappy gut. It’s recognising the contributing factors that are causing these complaints and finding the right solutions that will help you along your way to the road of recovery. Winter can be a difficult time of year to keep on top of your gut health. With Christmas parties, plenty of quality streets and a boozy festive season, keeping your gut healthy is undoubtedly going to be a challenge! Read on below for our top tips for managing and maintaining good gut health throughout Christmas and beyond!
It’s estimated that our digestive systems have the same surface area as a football pitch, leaving them constantly in charge of warding off any nasty pathogens that may come our way. 80% of our body’s immune system lies deep within our digestive system, so when we damage this part of our bodies – we risk ruining the health of our bodies defence system. This ultimately leaves us susceptible to repeat attacks from invading bugs and viruses. Solution? Get yourself a good quality Probiotic supplement (we love The Beauty Chef), this will help restore any good bacteria lost in the process of poor dietary choices and prescribed antibiotics – both of which damage the lining of our gut.
SWAP: Change up your champagne for a different kind of fizz! We love kombucha for a zingy, delicious alternative and it’s also great for your gut due to its fermented nature.
You may be familiar with the phrase “You are what you eat?”- well, it’s true. If your life is consumed of fast-food, alcohol and indulgent sweet treats – it’s going to reflect on the condition of your skin. Eczema, acne, psoriasis, dermatitis and rosacea are all indications that you could be holding an unhealthy gut. When undigested food lingers in our digestive tract, it begins to create toxic by-products – resulting in clogged pores, dry skin and breakouts. Food sensitivity can also be to blame and definitely something not to rule out. If you’re not aware that you have an intolerance to certain foods, then organising a test by your local practitioner could be the answer.
There’s nothing worse than a grumbling stomach after mealtimes – rushed eating, poor chewing and stress are all to blame for unexpected spells of digestive discomfort.
Gas and Bloating:
If you’re suffering a bit from gas or feeling bloated, it’s probably because you’ve eaten some indigestible carbohydrates which haven’t been broken down by the enzyme alpha-galactosidase (glucoamylase). This enzyme reduces inflammation and reduces flatulence caused by foods which our bodies find difficult to digest such as beans and legumes. This is where a good probiotic will sufficiently help!
TIP: Get inventive in your kitchen at trying your hand at making sauerkraut canapés!
Meats, cheese, eggs, refined grains and wheat are all guilty culprits for causing the feeling of uncomfortable constipation – the result of when ‘hard’ foods pass through our bodies. Luckily natural foods like fruit and vegetables stay soft whilst in the digestive tract, absorbing water and expanding to ensure an easy journey through the system. If constipation is something you suffer from, try inhibiting some foods and nutrients into your diet that are mild laxatives such as flaxseeds, prunes and vitamin C – also remembering to get your daily fix of H20 is essential for dealing with this gruelling gut problem.
SWAP: Love your Christmas cheese board? Try Madeleine Shaw’s Raw Vegan Cheese Board for a gut-friendly alternative that’s still festive!
This may not have been the first thing that pops into mind when you think of a healthy gut, however – ensuring that we’ve got our stress levels under control is vital for supporting a healthy digestive system. When we are up-tight, anxious or upset about something – our bodies have a natural reflux which stops the digestive process from taking place. It also reduces absorption of nutrients from food and decreases blood flow to our guts – slowing down our metabolism. Taking some time out to practice some breathing exercises is a great way to stimulate the abdominal area and improve digestion, ultimately making for a happy and healthy gut.